It may be a bit smaller than New York’s ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. There may not be a 94-foot Christmas tree standing sentry over the skaters.
But Columbia’s Main Street ICE has a charm all its own, giving South Carolina’s capital city a holiday tradition.
It’s the fifth year the outdoor rink has been set in Boyd Plaza in front of the Columbia Museum of Art.
“Main Street ICE is a great opportunity for the entire family to spend time together and have fun, especially during the holiday season,” said Shireese M. Bell, public and media relations manager for Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department.
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“It’s a place where your family and friends can create memories and make ice skating a holiday tradition.”
How do you sustain ice in a #FamouslyHot city?
After the rink is formed, a system of coils connected to a chiller keeps the ice firm and several inches thick – enough to support 75 to 100 people at a time.
Here are five other things to know about Main Street ICE:
1) Last year, 10,058 skated on the rink
2) Skates are included with admission
3) The rink opens on Thanksgiving Day – this year, Thursday, Nov. 24.
4) It remains open until Jan. 16.
5) Drip is about a block away with hot chocolate, coffee, tea and beer or wine
And surrounded by Christmas cheer, twirling around Main Street ICE is a festive way to spend some holiday time.
“Main Street ICE is a unique event in downtown Columbia,” Bell said. “Visitors can skate, visit the local shops and restaurants all within walking distance.”
Lezlie Patterson, Special to Go Columbia
If you go
Main Street ICE
WHERE: Boyd Plaza, in front of Columbia Museum of Art, Main and Hampton streets
WHEN: Opens 5-10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24, and runs through Monday, Jan. 16. In general, hours are 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday. Special operating hours Wednesday, Dec. 21-Sunday, Jan. 1 of noon-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m. Friday. Saturday and Sunday hours will remain the same. The rink will be closed on Christmas Day and will be open until midnight on New Year’s Eve.
COST: Opening day: $8 for adults; $5 for children 12 and younger. After that, Monday-Wednesday, $8 for adults; $5 for children 12 and younger; Thursday-Sunday, $10 for adults; $8 for children 12 and younger; $8 for active duty military with ID and seniors 55 and older
INFO: Hours, group rates and other details, (803) 545-3100; https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetice/